By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv
Regional meetings of the members and supporters of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) are in full swing. This weekend, they gathered in the sunny but windy Marezige above Koper. The event, which started on Sunday at 1 p.m., had a cheerful atmosphere, which was not spoiled even by the protesters who were wreaking havoc in front of the tent in which the meeting took place. At the meeting, the Prime Minister also spoke about why the opposition wants to make early elections happen in any way possible. He said that the opposition really wants to get to the funds that the current government negotiated in the European Union. Now, we will finally have enough funds for the construction of roads, railways, schools, kindergartens, landscaping and watercourses, paths, bike paths, hospitals, and homes for the elderly. Prime Minister Janša also pointed out that the leftists have not built a single new hospital in the last 15 years.
The meeting started with our national anthem, Zdravljica (A Toast), just like all of the meetings so far, and then Silvano Radin, the President of the Koper local committee of the party, took the stage. He first greeted everyone that had gathered at the event and specifically mentioned Prime Minister Janez Janša. “Mister President, I am certain that you will not get such a boisterous meeting anywhere else but here,” Radin joked. “We are being called fascists, but given the behaviour of the people in front of the tent, I can only say that it is clear that they are the fascist,” he pointed out.
The next speaker was the President of the Primorska Regional Coordination of the SDS party, Sabina Homjak, who thanked all those who attended the event. “Today’s events in front of the tent represent the decline of left-wing fascism,” she said, and her words were met with a loud response from the audience. “Our Prime Minister took over the leading of the government at the most difficult time and led our country through the epidemic, all the way to the tremendous economic growth we are currently witnessing.” She then called on those gathered to continue fighting against left-wing fascism, as Slovenia is a democratic country that belongs to all Slovenians. This was followed by a performance by the male choir Pergula Sv. Peter.
The next person to take the stage was the vice-president of the Slovenian Democratic Youth (the youth organisation of the Slovenian Democratic Party), Simona Purkat. “Women and men from the Primorska (coastal) region are considered to be feisty, which is what the protesters who gathered here today are trying to prove. But I believe, and I know that you, the women and men from Primorska who are gathered here with us today and are the members of the SDS party, are even feistier. We will prove that this is true together at the upcoming elections.” The powerful words of the vice-president of the youth organisation were greeted with loud applause from the audience. Purkat then went on to describe all the good things the youth organisation has done in the last year, which was marked by the epidemic, but a lot of good had been done nonetheless. Namely, the party’s youth organisation organised the largest international event to date, the Youth Strategic Forum. The International Secretary of the Slovenian Democratic Youth was even elected to the Executive Committee of the European People’s Party youth organisation. Purkat also spoke about a resolution entitled Ode to Youth, which addresses the problems of young people. She continued her speech by listing everything the party has done for young people and then called on young people to join the Slovenian Democratic Youth.
The next speaker was Romana Tomc, Member of the European Parliament, who said at the beginning that she likes to come to the coastal region and that there is always a large turnout at events organised by the Primorska Regional Coordination which was also true on Sunday’s event. “This week, I was in Strasbourg for the plenary session of the European Parliament. Usually, many statesmen gather at the plenary session, but this time they were not present, as they were all in Slovenia. Slovenian successes are being talked about all over the world, except in Slovenia. Namely, on the very day I mentioned, the Slovenian media organised a day of silence,” the MEP pointed out. She then added: “If our media were doing their job, I would have nothing new to tell you, as you would have heard it all before. However, instead of reporting on the successes of our ministers or Slovenia’s successful Presidency of the Council of the European Union, our media outlets instead report on fictitious scandals and successfully slander our current government.”
She then touched on the protests that took place in front of the tent where the meeting was held. She said that at the moment, there are many problems in the European Union, many different opinions, but that something like what was happening in front of the tent at that very moment could not happen anywhere else in the European Union. “What happened in Slovenia today could not have happened anywhere else in Europe, as Europe does not tolerate left-wing fascism,” Tomc believes. She concluded her speech by saying that, in a way, members of the SDS party should be grateful to the protesters. A team from the European Parliament is coming to Slovenia next week, and she will be able to clearly show her colleagues what is actually happening in Slovenia. She concluded her speech with an encouraging thought ahead of the upcoming elections that will take place next year. “If we want the government to be able to continue with its good work, we must all participate in next year’s elections. We need to cast our vote for the party that will lead us into a better future. For the SDS party. Next year will be the year of our victories,” she concluded her speech.
The Slovenian police had a tough week
After Tomc, the Minister of the Interior, Aleš Hojs, took the stage. At the beginning of his speech, he said that the Slovenian police had had a tough week. He also quoted Kramberger’s famous thought – that when the leftists are not in power, they will protest and call for the death of those who will rule but will not be “theirs.” “What we see outside, in front of the tent, are the last twitches of what you often call left-wing fascism. I simply call it communism. These protests would not be happening if it wasn’t for the opposition, which does not understand that the government is changed in the elections, and for the media, which are inciting the protests and calling for violence.”
Hojs then said that it is really not surprising that the left has now changed their discourse entirely. “Today, the same people who constantly called for violence and wreaked havoc in Ljubljana, set fire to and even hung puppets, are claiming that it was all the police’s fault, who took care of the situation and made sure that public order and peace were restored, week after week. That is the reason why we have the police – in addition to not wanting the year 2012 to happen again, when some police officers even ended up in hospitals.” He then went on to say that the situation today is, nevertheless, different. In the protests that took place during the last government of Janez Janša, they also hung puppets and burned them; however, the coalition partners in this term are different from the ones in the last one. “Zdravko Počivalšek is not Gregor Virant and Matej Tonin is not Radovan Žerjav,” he said. He then concluded his speech by listing all of the good things that the current government has done for the country. He spoke about high economic growth, higher wages and pensions, care for young families with children, and also mentioned many other projects that are already being or will soon be built in the country.
“We are successfully drawing the EU funds.”
The next person to address the audience was Minister without Portfolio for Development and Cohesion Policy, Zvonko Černač. He first reminded the attendees that this was the third time that the SDS party had taken over the responsibility of leading Slovenia, and that all mandates so far have been successful. “We know what the future of Slovenia is and what is still left to do. Despite the fact that the mandate is relatively short, we have done a lot of work. Shifts have happened in many areas. Two years ago, we heard that the drawing of the European funds was bad, that nothing was possible due to the poor information system of the country, and so on. Well, we are successfully drawing funds from the European Union – for this and the next financial perspective,” he said.
He then spoke about all of the projects that are being planned or have already started because we finally have enough funds to realise them. He reminded everyone of the 127 schools and kindergartens that will soon be renovated or built, as well as nursing homes. He pointed out that in the last seven years of being part of different governments, the Social Democrats (SD) had not managed to build even a single new home for the elderly, despite the fact that there is a great need for them, especially during the times of an epidemic. “It is not difficult to imagine how much easier it would have been to overcome the epidemic if the Social Democrats had done their job.” He then commented on the protesters that gathered in front of the tent. “What is happening in front of the tent is not just an example of left-wing fascism, but an extraordinary radicalisation of left-wing fascism, which can only be defeated in elections. This ongoing march, which is taking on more and more radical forms, but in reality, only represents a percent or two of Slovenia, needs to be shown a way out of politics forever.” In the end, he invited everyone to come to the next elections and added that all participants should also bring their loved ones with them – all those who are good in their hearts. This was followed by a presentation of the registered candidates and then a performance by Anže Šuštar.
Then, Prime Minister Janez Janša took the stage.
He first thanked all those present for coming and said that recently, quite a few regional meetings had happened, but the number of participants in the Marezige meeting was probably the highest. He jokingly went on to say that perhaps such a large gathering was due to the publicity provided by the protesters in front of the tent.
“In a way, we should be thankful for today’s accompanying programme in front of the tent. Screaming, totalitarian symbols, something was even thrown at one of the cars. This will explain a lot to our European colleagues. We could not wish for a more obvious difference, which clearly demonstrates the difference between them and us.”
He then said that such processes are basically a disruption of a constitutional process, as Slovenia is a parliamentary democracy, in which parties compete for the favour of voters, and protesters are disrupting a peaceful assembly.
“We have been around for more than 30 years now. Do you remember our party, in its 30 years, ever bothering or harassing anyone else at a rally when they were preparing for the elections? Have we ever done something like that? Until recently, this was not considered a normal thing to do in Slovenia. What has been happening lately has reached rock bottom and crossed all the lines,” he said, adding that the media will, of course, not report on this, as the protests and the violence related to them, are born right there – in the houses of the dominant media outlets and other backgrounds.
“The people who attend the anti-vaccination protests on Wednesdays and Fridays have also been inviting people to come here today, to Marezige. However, they are not here today; they are safe in Ljubljana. Nevertheless, there are more of us here, in the tent, than there are people outside. Many of the godfathers who support all of this shouting and the protests decided not to come to Primorska. They stayed in Ljubljana, where they are safe. They are doing all of this because the government has proven that it is possible to work differently, that the money we raise together can be invested in things we all need, and not in the paramilitaries of the non-governmental organisations from Metelkova Street.”
He then pointed out that this kind of radicalisation can be very dangerous. This is how the rise of fascism in Italy began, this is how the communists overthrew the democratic governments after the Second World War, and in Slovenia, all of this has happened before. “This is contrary to the democratic standards, the democracy, the constitution, and everything we consider to be a normal civilisation,” he was clear. Janša concluded his thought with some encouraging words, pointing out that Slovenia today is not what Italy was in the 1930s, adding that the SDS party is future-oriented, unlike the protesters in front of the tent, who are reviving obscurantist ideologies.
Janša also spoke about why the opposition wants to make early elections happen in any way possible. He said that the opposition really wants to get to the funds that the current government negotiated in the European Union. Now, we will finally have enough funds for the construction of roads, railways, schools, kindergartens, landscaping and watercourses, paths, bike paths, hospitals, and homes for the elderly. He also pointed out that the leftists have not built a single new hospital in the last 15 years.
The Prime Minister finished his speech by saying that we will have to talk to people face to face about all of the good work that the government has done. “Let’s not believe the illusion of our message reaching Slovenian homes through press houses such as POP TV or RTV. We need to work on this ourselves. This is how we will be able to get enough votes to form a strong government after the next elections, that will give Slovenia the future which we voted for in the plebiscite,” he concluded.